PACS / IT: The Key to Connectivity

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With a show theme based on communication, what better place to start the exhibitor preview than with picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) and a host of related information technologies (IT).



GE Medical Systems Information Technologies (GEMSIT, booth #4500) highlights its latest Centricity RIS/PACS application. Centricity RIS/PACS Version 2.1 provides clinicians with advanced toolsets and functionality to help manage and navigate large and complex datasets. The technology includes image and workflow support for image objects, such as PET/CT and digital mammography images. 

Additional diagnostic tools specific to individual modality requirements also will be showcased with improvements in image distribution performance.

GEMSIT also will show full support for client/server architecture from GEMS' Advantage workstation as a works-in-progress. The Visualization Server technology will allow any Advantage workstation application to be delivered to the Centricity PACS on demand, providing optimal post-processing and navigational functionality to the PACS users.



Philips Medical Systems (booth #1352) looks to strengthen its IT portfolio with its new version of ViewForum technology. ViewForum provides users with intelligent automated and protocoled tools to view complex CT and MR image series at a speed that is required for clinical routine. ViewForum is available on modality workstations and consoles and is integrated on the Philips PACS workstations.

Philips also introduces concurrent user methodology on its diagnostic PACS workstations, complete with clinical applications, RIS desktop integration, voice recognition and more, providing the flexibility of enterprise-wide and web-based PACS.



Eastman Kodak Co.
(booth #2729) unveils its newest version of the Kodak DirectView PACS System 5 platform with enhancements, including integrated 3D utilities (MIP, tissue definition and vessel tracking), enterprise-wide reporting enhancements and a teaching file utility. Kodak also introduces its Radiology Information System 2010 (RIS 2010) into the United States.

Also new in 2003 is Kodak DirectView Versatile Intelligent Patient Archive (VIParchive), which the company describes as a full digital asset management platform that manages PACS and cardiology storage needs and provides distributed enterprise-wide management of DICOM and non-DICOM digital assets across multiple storage platforms.



Agfa Healthcare (booth #1129) is introducing to North America an integrated IT system that combines Impax (version 5.0) RIS-PACS-Speech as a stand-alone application or as an integrated package.

Agfa also shows the latest version of its TalkStation product. The current work-in-progress - TalkStation 3.0 - is set for release in early 2004 and will offer features such as improved recognition accuracy enhance user satisfaction, and security features including log-ins and log-outs and enhanced control over content viewing.

Agfa also displays its Drystar 5300 tabletop dry imager for decentralized imaging.



TeraRecon (booth #3539) is collaborating with GEMSIT to demonstrate the integration of GEMS-IT's Centricity PACS and TeraRecon's AquariusNET, with AquariusNET automatically providing a 3D tool to accompany 2D review on Centricity. AquariusNET is a client-server system designed to deliver workflow-friendly 3D by using the server's power to perform the rendering, and regular PCs enterprise-wide to provide the user interface.

AquariusNET updated clinical applications and tools include CT / PET overlay with manual registration for CT and PET examinations; multi-phase support for time-dependent 3D MRA or CTA examinations; and movie export tool provides for AVI creation from 2D or 3D images.

Updated clinical applications for the Aquarius 3D workstation include segmentation-analysis-tracking (SAT) for soft tissue masses or solitary pulmonary nodules; time-density analysis (TDA) software for perfusion studies; time-volume-analysis (TVA) software for cardiac functional evaluation; and vascular analysis tool (VAT) for analyzing thrombus, calcifications, and endoleaks.



Misys Healthcare Systems (booth #2121) is showing off its Misys IIMIS RIS-PACS that includes the Misys Radiology information system and Misys Image Management. Among the new clinical radiology technologies on display are:
  • Misys PACS Integration Module (PIM), a fully integrated Misys Radiology-PACS, which provides DICOM services that eliminate the need for a broker between Misys Radiology and any PACS vendor.

  • Misys Radiology, which integrates information, images and voice into one information source to deliver operational efficiencies.

  • Misys Image Management, an integrated, standards-based, web-enabled image management system to improve radiologist workflow, lower operational costs and improve clinical services at a fraction of the cost of other PACS.



Siemens Medical Solutions (booth #1740) is showing off a variety of products and services that address web-based distribution, workflow engines, central archive management and ASP delivery. The company also will have details on how its Novius Radiology, Sienet PACS, and Soarian Clinical Access integrate with the Siemens Leonardo 3D post-processing workstation.

Siemens also will highlight its ability to combine information technology, PACS and medical technology to improve clinical workflow. Siemens products, such as Soarian, the Sienet Integrated Radiology Suite and a variety of modalities, can provide services in a hospital setting from patient registration and result distribution, to those needed by an attending physician.



Dynamic Imaging Ltd. (booth #3159) is rolling out its next-generation IngradWeb PACS, bringing 3D processing to its web-based primary reading environment and enhancing workflow with new tools and automated features. A new advanced selection of 3D toolsets includes multi-planar reformatting, maximum intensity projection and 3D rendering.

Along with 3D visualization, Dynamic Imaging is debuting its SmartLoading architecture, designed to speed display of 3D and other images in large datasets. Dynamic Imaging's new generation of SecureServer technology offers new features, as well as a toolset to facilitate HIPAA compliance.



Intelerad Medical Systems Inc. (booth #5509), a web-based PACS firm, is introducing new features, such as its diagnostic InteleViewer, a full-featured JPEG 2000 Web-based viewer for diagnostic users. InteleViewer features include radiologist worklist for reading management, advanced connectivity with digital dictation and other enterprise productivity tools, customization for user preferences through hanging protocols, and lossless and lossy compression levels adjustable by modality to speed communications over all bandwidths.

A new diagnostic viewer complements the existing InteleViewer for non-diagnostic users to create a consistent intuitive interface for image access for all users. 



McKesson Corp. (booth #1120) is introducing Horizon Radiology, an image-enabled workflow product for acute-care and outpatient radiology departments. Horizon Radiology is comprised of the new, completely web-based Horizon Radiology Manager and Horizon Medical Imaging. Horizon Radiology Manager is designed to cost-effectively manage the administrative and clinical workflow of radiology departments. Together, Horizon Medical Imaging and Horizon Radiology Manager provide seamless, continual access to patient information, clinical images and reports, according to McKesson.



Fujifilm Medical Systems USA Inc. (booth #7713) is demonstrating the benefits of Synapse. Users can use the software to manage a multi-site, multi-reading group or multiple information systems environment. Fuji's SWAT Web-based administration tool also features sophisticated logging mechanisms to help users analyze and act on information generated from users, modalities and information systems.

Synapse version 3.0 enhancements include integrated document scanning and developments to our reading protocol capability.



Merge eFilm's (booth #1309) new Fusion RIS/PACS fuses the business workflow of the former RIS Logic - which Merge acquired earlier this year - with the clinical workflow of Merge eFilm into a unified, intelligent, distributed workflow solution.

The new version includes three client-driven features - the optional Mammography Tracking Module supports MQSA and ACR BI-RADS compliance; the optional embedded Digital Dictation Module utilizes Dictaphone technology to provide seamless dictation and playback throughout RIS workflow; and Bar Code Claiming allows the scanning of film jackets for the RIS to "claim" the associated exam and post it to the radiologist's worklist.



DeJarnette Research Systems Inc. (booth #8526) is releasing its new BreakAway product which handles the issue of information overload on the network caused by high-speed, multi-slice CT scanners. BreakAway is designed to identify multiple procedure studies and modify the DICOM modality worklist using a group procedure to replace the multiple procedures.



Algotec Inc. (booth #2751) puts the accent on 3D at RSNA 2003 with the debut of upgrades to its ImagiNet line of PACS products, including new features that convert its MediPrime diagnostic reading station into a full-featured 3D processing workstation. MediPrime offers workflow-related features and tools, such as personalized worklists, customized workflow, complete patient portfolios-at-a-glance and a powerful display-protocol mechanism.

New features include a Teaching File application completely integrated into PACS and RIS. Volume rendering is completely integrated into the workflow and built into MediPrime display protocols, as are customizable conference worklists.



EMC Corp. (booth #4335) is rolling out its Automated Networked Storage technology for PACS. EMC's CLARiiON CX400 and CX600 storage systems and Centera content both address storage needs.

EMC's Automated Networked Storage technology for PACS manages and accelerates the total image lifecycle from actively reviewed short-term live images to long-term archived images. EMC's CLARiiON CX series of networked storage systems is designed to provide a cost-competitive storage solution to manage, protect and share short-term active files. For long-term archiving, EMC Centera content addressed storage offers flexible, secure storage for unchanging digital assets including medical images and patient records.



RealTimeImage (booth #2202) is offering enhancements to its iPACS technology at RSNA 2003. New capabilities include streaming-based, 3D review capability; improved overlay presentation and editing; extended measurement tools; and support for multi-head display, high-resolution display, and DICOM printers.

New enhancements on the back end of iPACS include additional management and administration tools, greater storage management utilizing hierarchical storage management (HSM) capabilities, broader DICOM support including full DICOM JPEG 2000 support.



InSiteOne (booth #2368) is debuting its InDex Web for the access of digital images stored in InSiteOne's archiving system. Images are received from the InSiteOne RAID-based archive located on-site and sent over the web to the source of the request. Digital images are then permanently archived at InSiteOne's redundant date centers. The service is based on RealTimeImage's iPACS technology.



Rorke Data (booth #1315) is integrating an all-new storage services switching platform so companies can leverage low-cost Serial ATA (SATA) data storage in current storage environments. The new switch features per-port-processing so mid-size and enterprise-class users can rely on wire speed performance, regardless of existing mission-critical storage environment.



NovaRad Corp. (booth #4078) will show its NovaRIS radiology module version 5.3 upgrade. The Health Level Seven (HL7) and HIPAA-compliant RIS software features CPT code tracking, DICOM modality work list, on-demand productivity and payment reports, and problem alerts.



Amicas (booth #5149) will highlight its RealTime Worklist at RSNA 2003. RealTime Worklist includes Multi-Study Caching, which automatically retrieves the next study in relative priority to ensure the radiologist is always a study ahead. Also on the agenda is Amicas LightBeam, Web-based, on-demand diagnostic workstation for primary interpretation by radiologists and advanced clinicians, which the company debuted in June.

Amicas also plans to show Vision Watch. The Web-based application is designed for monitoring and managing all major components of Vision, which provides a system for health monitoring, quality of service and business decision support.



IDX Systems Inc. (booth #6503) is showing its Imagecast integrated RIS/PACS products in Chicago, as well as several prototypes for future products. Also, look for IDX's Imagecast Document Management Solution, which is fully integrated into its Imagecast RIS workflow feature to help hospitals transition to a paperless environment.